Hard to believe, but the quaint and low-key town of Mendota was once a commercial hotspot for fur traders (many of them French) working their way along the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. This Monday marks the 12th annual celebration of St. Jean-Baptiste, an official holiday in Quebec, John the Baptist being the patron saint of the city. Part pagan celebration of the summer solstice, part Christian-themed feast, the Sibley House Historic site will mark the occasion with a free outdoor party for all. Guests are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and listen to old-fashioned folk music and enjoy the traditional bonfire marking the start of the season, which hosts the longest daylight hours of the year. Free tours of the renovated buildings will be available earlier in the day.
Mon., June 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2008